May 18, 2016 MLS--Toronto FC vs New York City FC (by Rocket Robin)

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Toronto FC (all red, white names and numbers)

.................1 Clint Irwin
33 Steven Beitashour...23 Josh Williams...3 Drew Moor...2 Justin Morrow
..........14 Jay Chapman...4 Michael Bradley (cpt)...7 Will Johnson
..........9 Tsubasa Endoh...10 Sebastian Giovinco...11 Mo Babouli

Subs:...25 Alex Bono (gk)...5 Ashtone Morgan (def)...6 Nick Hagglund (def)...15 Eriq Zavaleta (fwd)
...19 Daniel Lovitz (fwd)...24 Damien Perquis (def)...28 Mark Bloom (def)
team officials:...head coach Greg Vanney

New York City FC (all navy, orange names and numbers)

......................12 Josh Saunders (cpt)
3 Ethan White...13 Frederic Brillant...2 Jason Hernandez...30 Diego Martinez
9 Steven Mendoza...6 Federico Bravo...88 Kwadwo Poku...20 Mehdi Ballouchy
............10 Mix Diskerud...14 Patrick Mullins

Subs:...25 Eirik Johansen (gk)...7 David Villa (fwd)...11 Jack Harrison (mid)...21 Andrea Pirlo (mid)
...23 Jefferson Mena (def)...27 R J Allen (def)...51 Andoni Iraola (def)
team officials:...head coach Patrick Vieira

Game officials:...referee Sorin Stoica...referee's assistants Peter Balciunas and Matthew Nelson
...fourth official Sylviu Petrescu...(teal shirts, black shorts and socks)

1st starts 7:09pm...TFC defends south end on this cool overcast evening.
During the first four minutes, both goalies boot clearances out of bounds.
5 min...NYC Mendoza chips cross from 25 yards on right has NYC player head ball from center forward and to left that finds NYC Mullins offside at 10 yards.
7 min...TFC Beitashour chip from 80 yards finds charging TFC Giovinco on break away at 40 yards on right and he runs to 15 yards on right and shoots low and diving goalie at 6 yards pushes wide left for cornerkick.
8 min... TFC Bradley gets back his short cornerkick from TFC Endoh on the left and chips from 25 yards into box. TFC Chapman at 8 yards takes backwards header that lands on top of net.
12 min...NYC Martinez after run up left rolls pass forward from 25 yards through defenders and NYC Mullins in clear rolls 10 yard shot wide right of post.
15 min...NYC Kwadwo Poku GOAL...NYC Steven Mendoza cross from 25 yards on right has NYC Patrick Mullins head ball backwards as he falls at 10 yards while even with left post over to Poku and he recovers ball just outside left edge of box and he bends 20 yard shot around TFC Steven Beitashour at 18 yards and flying goalie at 3 yards on left post and into right corner of net.
17 min...TFC Bradley 45 yard freekick from left has TFC Beitashour pop up header at 15 yards on right as he collides with defender and both are knocked over on play. NYC Ballouchy heads ball forward and out of box.
18 min...NYC YELLOW card...Mullins earns it for bumping over TFC Moor at NYC 45 yard line.
19 min...TFC Giovinco 25 yard freekick on far right has charging TFC Babouli on right deflect ball wide right from 8 yards.
21 min...TFC goalie out to 28 yards on right to clear through ball pass.
22 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from right has TFC Johnson at 10 yards pass ball back to him and his cross from 25 yards on right is cleared on edge of box by NYC Diskerud header.
23 min...TFC Morrow cross from 40 yards on left has TFC Chapman pop up header forward from 20 yards for goalie to catch at 7 yards.
24 min...TFC Morrow cross from 30 yards on left is skied high and wide right of net.
25 min...NYC Diskerud rolls cross from 20 yards on far right has TFC Moor stop on slide at 8 yards on right.
26 min...NYC Martinez cross from 28 yards on far left is caught by goalie stepping forward to 6 yards in front of crowd of players.
27 min...TFC Babouli has shot blocked from 10 yards after TFC Chapman sets him up.
28 min...TFC Morrow low cross from left edge of box has TFC Endoh shoot from 10 yards up middle and NYC Hernandez head ball wide right from 7 yards with TFC raising leg at 5 yards trying to connect and goal kick is awarded.
29 min...NYC Ballouchy 35 yard freekick from right is partially cleared with header by defender in crowd in box at 8 yards. NYC Diskerud chips 25 yarder down middle that leaping goalie palms over bar.
30 min...NYC Ballouchy cornerkick from right has NYC Poku head downwards at 12 yards in box but play whistled down at 6 yards because NYC Mullins was offside.
31 min...NYC Hernandez skips up to clear at 10 yards of cross by TFC Giovinco from 25 yards from left.
33 min...The sun comes out!
36 min...NYC Ballouchy 35 yard freekick down middle is headed away just inside box by TFC Williams.
38 min...TFC YELLOW card...Bradley earns it for check on NYC Diskerud injurying him at NYC 35 yard line.
39 min...TFC Babouli beats NYC Martinez on 30 yard line sideline on right runs forward and rolls centering cross to TFC Giovinco who's shadowed from having good shot at 12 yards in middle by two defenders.
41 min...TFC Giovinco low 25 yard shot deflected wide left for cornerkick off defender.
41 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from left has NYC Mullins head away from 6 yards on left post.
41 min...TFC Will Johnson GOAL...TFC Mo Babouli 30 yard cross from right has sliding TFC Josh Williams on left post miss good connection but tips ball past sprawling goalie Josh Saunders guarding left post to center of 6 yard box and Johnson kicks in 3 yarder to center of open net.
45 min...TFC Williams long pass up right for TFC Babouli whose low cross from end line is through box and out to 20 yards on left but TFC Giovinco wins freekick when he's pushed over by NYC Mendoza.
46 min...TFC Giovinco 25 yard freekick from left has goalie fly left to push ball wide of post.
46 min...TFC Bradley quick cornerkick from left is short and wasted on pass back. The whistle is blown to end the half.
46 min...half ends 7:55pm.

Halftime Entertainment: Tony from Pizza Pizza would choose a row to deliver a slice of pizza, a draw for one row of seats to win a Nestle Drumstick. A Tim Horton's mini-game of 8 v 8 soccer between kids from Toronto High Park Soccer Club. Interviewer Shari Levitt interviews two kids from the red team while the game is on leaving the red team two players short. Neither team scored.

2nd Half:...starts 8:13pm.
45 min...TFC Johnson crossfield pass in defence tips off NYC player and TFC goalie stops.
46 min...TFC Johnson shot low from 12 yards is smothered by goalie after TFC Giovinco cross from right at 18 yards near end line..
48 min...TFC Endoh pass from 35 yards up middle to TFC Giovinco on right but he's checked off ball on edge of box.
49 min...NYC Mullins after run up left wing cuts along left end line and chips cross from 15 yards and NYC Ballouchy can't turn header at 8 yards and ball bounces to right and is cleared.
49 min...TFC Giovinco cross from 35 yards on right is over to TFC Babouli who's checked off ball by second defender at 15 yards on left side of box.
50 min...TFC Babouli run along left end line has NYC White poke ball across end line for cornerkick.
50 min...TFC Bradley low cornerkick from left is cleared by NYC Mullin on left side of box.
55 min...NYC Mendoza survives sliding check in TFC box and rescues ball and rolls cross from right that NYC Mullins backheels into TFC defender and ball is cleared.
55 min...NYC YELLOW card...Bravo earns it for tackle on TFC Giovinco at TFC 45 yard line.
56 min...NYC sub...Allen replaces White.
57 min...TFC Beitashour throw-in from right wins another throw-in on deflected cross.
58 min...TFC Giovinco chips ball for himself on left and NYC Bravo concedes cornerkick from 7 yards.
59 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from left has TFC Chapman have ball tip off him on end line near left post and ball cleared.
59 min...TFC Bradley chips ball too far for TFC Johnson on left and over end line although offside flag is up.
61 min...TFC Babouli low shot from 20 yards on right has goalie dive forward to save in front of TFC Giovinco and NYC Hernandez clears.
62 min...TFC Bradley 28 yard freekick from right sideline has NYC Ballouchy and NYC Allen pop up headers to clear.
64 min...NYC sub...Iraola replaces Martinez.
67 min...TFC Morrow wins cornerkick on deflection at 18 yards on left after his run for long ball.
67 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from left has goalie drift right to catch in front of crowd of players at 6 yard line.
69 min...NYC YELLOW card...Diskerud earns it for holding TFC Bradley at TFC 40 yard line.
71 min...TFC Chapman 30 yard shot from right is wide left.
72 min...NYC Iraola kicks ball over end line on left for TFC cornerkick on TFC Babouli low cross from right into 6 yard box.
73 min...TFC Giovinco cornerkick from left is over players in box.
73 min...NYC sub...Villa replaces Poku.
75 min...TFC Giovinco 28 yard shot from middle has goalie dive to save. TFC Chapman low 15 yard rebound has goalie slide to push ball wide right on right post.
76 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from right is partially cleared by NYC 10 yeader. TFC Morrow shoots ball wide right of net from 25 yards.
83 min...TFC Giovinco is checked off ball in left side of NYC box.
84 min...NYC YELLOW card...Villa earns it for tackle on TFC Moor at NYC 50 yard line.
85 min...TFC Bradley low 40 yard freekick from right has nearest defender clear on edge of box.
86 min...TFC Moor bends in 40 yarder from left has NYC Allen head ball away from 10 yards in middle of box.
87 min...TFC Giovinco cross from 22 yards on left has defender head away at 15 yards on left.
87 min...TFC Johnson cross from 30 yards on right is skied up but goalie catches on left post in front of crowd of players.
89 min...NYC Iraola cross from right end line has TFC Bradley kick away in 6 yard box.
90 min...NYC Ballouchy is injured at NYC 30 yard sideline on check by TFC Babouli.
91 min...TFC sub...Lovitz replaces Chapman.
92 min...NYC Villa shot from 40 yards is skyball kick from left that lands on top of TFC net.
95 ends 9:03pm.

Final Score:.......Toronto FC.........1...........New York City FC............1.............

Attendance was announced as a sellout 30262. That's over 200 more than the opening game sellout. They announced earlier in the week that there were only 1000 tickets left but people were certainly slow to arrive tonight. It's the first time this year I've tried the Harbourfront streetcar but this year we're dumped eight blocks early while the regular loop is having construction upgrades.

Man of the Match (who is always a TFC player) was announced as Will Johnson who scored the TFC goal. He also made some good plays both on offence and defence.

TFC were dealing with injuries to Jozy Altidore for six to eight weeks with a hamstring injury, also Marky Delgado, Jonathan Osorio, and Beynoit Cheyrou.

I watched Mo Babouli beside Giovinco practise at the KIA Training Ground at the field beside the PDL game yesterday afternoon. TFC Academy PDL lost to K-W United 7-0 who were the 2015 PDL Champions. Manager Greg Vanney was calling out places where Andrea Pirlo was expected but that turned out to be unneccessary. A place opened up for defender Nick Hagglund after playing for TFC II since beginning of the season. He hadn't played for the MLS team this season.

NYCFC looked like they were happy playing for the draw in the second half wasting time and not pressing. It just let TFC have rush after rush.

Andrea Pirlo did not appear in this game. This disappointed fans cheering him before the game warming up with David Villa and the rest of the subs. About sixty fans crushed forward to take pictures and hold up homemade signs. There was a photo montage on the video board of Pirlo and Giovinco together.

The fact that these two stars didn't start points out a few strategies. They were in the middle of playing three games in six days.
1. NYCFC had just palyed the late game Sunday night in Portland and had to fly back across the continent overnight.
2. NYCFC hosts a huge rivalry game this Saturday against the crosstown New York Red Bulls, a team they've never beaten in three games last year in their second year history.

NYCFC were on a three game win streak. None of their DPs started tonight. Frank Lampard (their third besides Pirlo and Villa) is still injured.

It was the battle of the MLS leading scorers with both Giovinco and Villa tied for the lead (with Fanendo Adi of Portland Timbers) with eight goals.

Tonight was the first TFC goal of the season NOT scored or assisted by Giovinco. It was published earlier in the week that his 13 points broke the league record of 12 set in 1998 set by Ronal Cerritos of San Jose Earthquakes.

TFC fritters away another home game by not getting maximum points over a weakened opponent. They need these points now as the Copa and European Championships will draw away Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco for a month.

TFC has still never beaten NYCFC in now they're fifth game (second year of franchise existance) with NYCFC getting one win at BMO Field and one win and one tie in New York. This is their second tie with each other this year with a 2-2 tie in New York in the second week of the season. They are not scheduled to meet again this season.

I had been anxious to see Mo Babouli and Jay Chapman start after watching them play for TFC II in USL but can now see a reason why they're not MLS starters because they lack a finishing touch. I had overestimated them.

I wonder if TFC management regrets letting forwards Luke Moore and Herculez Gomez leave by not renewing their contracts although with salary cap constraints that have played a part.

Josh Saunders looked good in goal this game and saved NYCFC a point. Clint Irwin had a lot less to do but was up to the challenge when called upon.

As one of the early arrivals I was given a souvenir Giovinco t-shirt. A picture of Michael Bradley was on today's ticket.

We were reminded of a time change to Saturday's game. It was never mentioned when but message boards lit up that it was because of the Toronto Raptors playing Saturday evening in town and the MLSE owners (of both teams) didn't want to mess up attendance nor television ratings with the soccer team playing at the same time.

Rocket Robin

stats from
Match Information

Goals and Assists

16'  Kwadwo Poku             Assisted By: Patrick Mullins, Steven Mendoza 
42'  Will Johnson            Assisted By: Josh Williams, Mo Babouli 

19'  Patrick Mullins         Reason: Persistent Infringement 
39'  Michael Bradley         Reason: Unsporting Behavior 
56'  Federico Bravo          Reason: Unsporting Behavior 
70'  Mix Diskerud            Reason: Unsporting Behavior 
85'  David Villa             Reason: Unsporting Behavior 


Toronto FC 
11 F Mo Babouli 
10 F Sebastian Giovinco 
 1 G Clint Irwin 
33 D Steven Beitashour 
23 D Josh Williams 
 3 D Drew Moor 
 2 D Justin Morrow 
 4 M Michael Bradley 
 7 M Will Johnson 
14 M Jay Chapman     (90'+2') 
 9 M Tsubasa Endoh 

25 G Alex Bono 
24 D Damien Perquis 
 5 D Ashtone Morgan 
28 D Mark Bloom 
 6 D Nick Hagglund 
15 D Eriq Zavaleta 
19 M Daniel Lovitz    (90'+2')

Manager  Greg Vanney  
New York City FC 
 9 F Steven Mendoza 
14 F Patrick Mullins 
20 F Mehdi Ballouchy 
12 G Josh Saunders 
 3 D Ethan White        (57')
13 D Frederic Brillant 
 2 D Jason Hernandez 
30 D Diego Martínez     (66')
10 M Mix Diskerud 
 6 M Federico Bravo 
88 M Kwadwo Poku        (74') 

25 G Eirik Johansen 
51 D Andoni Iraola      (66') 
27 D RJ Allen           (57')
23 D Jefferson Mena 
21 M Andrea Pirlo 
 7 M David Villa        (74')
11 M Jack Harrison 

Manager Patrick Vieira 

Referee  Sorin Stoica 
Assistant Referee  Peter Balciunas 
Assistant Referee  Matthew Nelson 
Fourth Official  Silviu Petrescu 

Match Information
MLS at BMO Field
Toronto, ON
Attendance 30262
Weather Cloudy

Team Statistics

TOR                      NYCFC
 11     Shots                7 
  7     Shots on Target      3 
  2     Shots off Target     2 
  2     Blocked Shots        2 
  9     Corners              1 
 28     Crosses              8 
  4     Offsides             2 
 14     Fouls               13 
  1     Yellow Cards         4 
  0     Red Cards            0 
492     Total Passes       408 
 77 %   Passing Accuracy    74 % 
 55.4 % Possession          44.6 % 
 49     Duels Won           71 
 15     Tackles Won         22 
  1     Saves                6 
  8     Clearances          28 

Toronto FC starters

New York City FC starters

TFC Tsubasa Endoh (9) and Sebastian Giovinco (10) take opening kickoff.

TFC Sebastian Giovinco (10) turns toward goal.

TFC Steven Beitashour (33) pops ball over NYCFC Mehdi Ballouchy (20) to TFC Jay Chapman (14).

TFC Sebastian Giovinco (10) charges towards edge of NYCFC box for ball after cornerkick.

NYCFC Mix Diskerud (10) chips partial clearance back into TFC box.

NYCFC Patrick Mullins (14) and Mix Diskerud (10) take second half kickoff.

TFC Justin Morrow (2) on wing.

NYCFC Mix Diskerud (10) rushes over center line.

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